Most of us, at least once, have traveled in the BMTC buses. Did you know the history of BMTC? Read on.
The Bengaluru Metropolitan Transport Corporation recently celebrated its Silver Jubilee – 25 years of ferrying citizens across the city. It’s been an eventful 25 years as the BMTC evolved from double-decker buses to air-conditioned Volvo buses.
The History Of BMTC – The Beginning
The story and history of BMTC is indeed interesting. The Bengaluru Metropolitan Transport Corporation then known as the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation was created out of the Bangalore Transport Service on August 15th, 1997.
One of the reasons for this was to weaken the transport unions. The BMTC became the only public transport service provider connecting Bengaluru’s urban, semi-urban and rural areas.
Before this, buses were being run by the Bangalore Transport Company. They ran 103 buses in the city and 15 buses in the Bangalore cantonment from 8 am to 8 pm. While it had started as a limited liability company, it was nationalized in 1956 and renamed as the Bangalore Transport Service (BTS) in 1962.
The History Of BMTC – The Routes
As the city evolved and stretched outwards so did the bus routes. Back in the day, the BMTC operated one of the longest circular routes covering a distance of 117km. This was known as route 600 and had 158 bus stops. The journey was usually completed within 7 hours. This route was discontinued in 2018-19 because of traffic congestion.
Today BMTC buses ply on over 4500 individual routes. In 2019, the BMTC and Government agencies announced a bus priority lane. However, this was soon discontinued by car owners complaining of having no place on the road between the bus lane and the barriers for Metro construction.
BMTC And Buses On The Move
The BMTC was the first state-run transport union to introduce Volvo city buses in India. Today, it operates 860 AC buses. In addition, it runs 90 non-AC midi buses. 75 non-AC e-buses were also recently launched to lower the BMTC’s carbon footprint.
The bus services currently in service are grouped into 6 categories.
- Bengaluru Sarige: These are non-AC buses connecting different stops in the Metropolitan region.
- Samparka: These are non-AC mini buses covering short distances anchored around bus stations.
- Astra: These are non-AC electric buses
- Vajra: These are AC buses connecting major bus stations, residential zones, industrial areas and tech parks.
- Vayu Vajra: AC buses with free Wi-Fi that connect points in the Metropolitan region to the Kempegowda International Airport.
- Bengaluru Darshini: This is an AC bus service with a route covering Bengaluru’s landmarks.
Now that you have a fair idea about the history of BMTC, wouldn’t it be better to travel in the buses more often? Use more public transport and help reduce the carbon footprint.